Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH.
Roughly a quarter of the US population has arthritis. That may seem like an astronomical number, but what’s actually really more alarming is that it is doctor-diagnosed arthritis, so there are many more people who fall into the category of having arthritis who actually have not been diagnosed. Perhaps you get up in the morning and you have a stiff knee and you’re just kind of dealing with it. Maybe you’re going to your doctor, but that topic never comes up because you’re focused on something else. So that is just the number that we know of – about 25% – and we know that that is predominately of the osteoarthritis form. Then, we have rheumatoid arthritis as well.
It used to be the school of thought that rheumatoid arthritis was solely an autoimmune condition and osteoarthritis was the result of chronic wear and tear, and that, over time, we got this destruction that occurred within that joint space. Now that there’s so much more research out there, we actually recognize that osteoarthritis has this really strong immune system component to it. While it’s not as pronounced as the destructive nature of rheumatoid arthritis, we do have to recognize that the immune system is playing a role in triggering the symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.†
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Today, I want to talk about a really unique nutrient that has been discovered by scientists that can be incredibly beneficial for those who are dealing with either form of arthritis, even for those who have not been technically diagnosed. We know that there are many folks out there who do not have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Maybe it’s self-diagnosed, maybe you know that every morning when you get up, your joints feel stiff. Maybe if you do any type of physical activity, you notice that you have more swelling or pain within a particular joint. This is why I want to talk about this in some more significant detail and really talk about the science behind this key nutrient. I want to talk about a really unique approach to targeting joint discomfort and why this actually happens in the first place.†
The Link Between Collagen, Arthritis and The Immune System
We know that, throughout our lives, collagen production begins to diminish. By the time we are mid-50s or 60 years old, we’ve lost a good 50% of our Type I collagen. This is really quite critical because when we think about collagen in the body, this is the most abundant protein that we find. It is important not only for joint spaces, but when we think about our bones, hair, skin, and blood vessel lining. Collagen is found throughout the entire body. If we start to have rapid destruction of collagen that’s occurring in those joint spaces, then this can really start to rev up that immune system.†
This is what we’ve recognized in both rheumatoid arthritis as well as osteoarthritis, is that we have this wearing away of that collagen and then the immune system recognizes that as being foreign. In doing so, it starts to rev up and we get this really hyperactive immune system response, which drives up all of this inflammation and can lead to significant destruction within the joint spaces. We’ve always recognized that to be the case with rheumatoid arthritis, hence an autoimmune condition, but we always looked at osteoarthritis as just being wear and tear. We now realized that it has to do with the diminishing levels of the actual Type I collagen.†
How can we remedy these situations?
First and foremost, we want to think about Type I collagen. Taking a hydrolyzed Type I collagen can help restore the amount of collagen that has been lost throughout those decades. Making sure that we are taking a highly-absorbable form, one that the body recognizes, so that we can start to replenish that. Not only is that going to be beneficial for the joints, this is also beneficial when we think of all the other utilizations of collagen in the body, such as benefits for the hair, skin, and blood vessels. All around, taking hydrolyzed collagen is an excellent choice to help to replenish those lost stores.†
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Let’s look at what we can do if we’re already experiencing that discomfort and immobility that can occur within the joints. Then we look at Type II collagen. Type II, in its undenatured state, offers immune system support. A high quality form of undenatured Collagen Type II has been studied and researched extensively at all these wonderful research universities. It is a registered trademarked form called UC-IIⓇ. This has been shown to be so incredibly effective across the spectrum, not just for targeting rheumatoid arthritis for that immune system control, but indeed, also joint health.†
Learn more about the impacts and background of collagen by tuning into the full podcast episode.
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